Condemn O'Keefe's questionable tactics


Should the University be proud of alumnus James O'Keefe, the Conservative activist who successfully exposed the seemingly worst aspects of Planned Parenthood, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and, most recently, National Public Radio (NPR)? The short answer is no. The long answer is that, while some hail O'Keefe as a righteous warrior for truth, his journalistic sting operations often amount to nothing more than entrapment and quotes taken out of context. It's clear O'Keefe is pushing a conservative agenda. His goal is not to expose corruption in public organizations. Rather, it is to make organizations he doesn't approve of look bad.

One has to wonder why O'Keefe engages in these hidden camera operations — often employing actors and fabricated scenarios — in order to get the information he is after. If O'Keefe were an investigative journalist, he would get the information without resorting to constructed events. One also has to wonder why O'Keefe only targets organizations Conservatives have traditionally been opposed to for their perceived liberal political leanings. O'Keefe obviously isn't invested in exposing corruption where it may exist — he only wants to bring to light the dirty side of liberal-approved organizations. He makes no show of even hiding this fact.

It is especially telling that O'Keefe refused to be videotaped when he gave a speech on March 17 to a tea party group in Keyport, N.J. As a master of manipulated videos, he's privy to the kind of magic anyone can work with editing software. Maybe he did not want to be caught on tape so no one could pull the same tricks on him as he pulls on others. Of course, that's speculation, but as a fan of video exposés, shouldn't O'Keefe have no problem with being taped?

It is truly a shame O'Keefe's questionable videos wield such power. Certainly, the video he released of former NPR fundraiser Ron Schiller has something to do with the House's decision to ban NPR from receiving federal funds. Because of O'Keefe's irresponsible agenda-pushing, one of the more unbiased news sources in the United States has to suffer. As much as O'Keefe constantly asserts that his videos show the truth, we'd like to see him use more legitimate methods. If he did so, the world could truly see whether the dirt O'Keefe digs up is real, or every bit as fake as his pimp costume.


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